RISE is a grassroots collective of social workers and activists in NYC. We create spaces where progressive and radical ideas can be shared to build knowledge, skills and community. We want to inspire social workers to create a world where the need for social work is made obsolete.
RISE envisions a movement of social workers and activists that transforms the social service profession and the world by actively challenging racism, capitalism, and oppression of all kinds.
RISE believes in creating a world without the need for social workers, where community is celebrated, individuals bring their full selves without facing judgment, and social systems place an imperative on delivering social justice for all.
Transforming the field of social work begins with awareness of our current participation in the status quo. Putting that awareness into action will build a movement powerful enough to create the world we wish to live in.
RISE is committed to changing the social work profession, not just critiquing it. Our organizing strategies and relationships to partners, community members, social work professionals and constituents is lead by these values:
- Action: We promote action on individual, communal, systemic levels to create radical social change. Analysis is not enough alone.
- Anti-Capitalist: We recognize our place within a capitalism economic system, while challenging ourselves to end our complacency within it. We are unpaid organizers in an entirely grassroots collective with no plan of financial profit. We situate ourselves outside of the non-profit industrial complex by resisting 501(c)3 incorporation.
- Anti-Racist: We recognize that racism is a central mechanism for structural inequality in the United States. We oppose this by organizing from an anti-racist framework and practice unlearning racism through our events and organizing strategies.
- Education: We create change by using analysis, reflection, and dialogue to educate ourselves and others on the field of social service work. We educate by asking individuals and communities to share their individual histories and lived experiences. We learn from each other and in community how to overcome oppression and organize for social change.
- Inclusive: We believe that a social movement that eliminates oppression will consist of communities of constituents, recipients of social services, youth, immigrants, people of color, and white folks. A social movement to eliminate the need for social workers will not only include social workers, but be an interdisciplinary effort that includes all social service workers, educators, activists, and everyone else who is willing to join in this struggle.
- Non-Hierarchical: Shared leadership and collective decision making ensure that our collective structure does not replicate dominant power structures we are working to change.
- Skill-building: We believe that to take education and analysis into action people need skills. RISE cultivates skills through workshops and events, and also from practicing our values in difficult moments within our community.
- Transparent: Honesty and self-reflection are necessary in understanding our participation in oppressive systems and holding ourselves accountable as a collective and as individuals. Transparency is crucial in our meetings, our organizing, and within our community.